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The Counseling License Reciprocity Guide

Each state in the US has its own requirements for licensing counselors and for transferring licenses from a different state. Most types of counselors are required to be licensed (sometimes referred to as certified) by the state board governing their type of practice: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC or LPC), Rehabilitation Counselor, School Counselor, or Substance Abuse Counselor (SAC). Since requirements vary by license and by state, it’s important to research the requirements for counseling certification when considering license portability. This is especially true as license “reciprocity” can be a misleading term. In nearly all cases, permission must be obtained from the new state before you begin practice. In other words, reciprocity is not automatic. Following reciprocity guidelines will help ensure that your license remains in good standing. Read on to learn more about transferring your counseling license to another state.

Table of Contents

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
The Counseling Compact for LMHCs/LPCs
Rehabilitation Counselor
School Counselor
Substance Abuse and Addiction Counselor
Foreign Licensed Counselors and US Counselor Certification Reciprocity
Reciprocity Guidelines by State
Additional Resources
Frequently Asked Questions

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Reciprocity

There is no national framework for LMFTs to transfer their license from one state to another. In most states, LMFT reciprocity is based on an application process, and the applicant must demonstrate that they have already completed substantially equivalent requirements for licensure (including education and testing) in another state. This is often referred to as licensure by endorsement. While in most cases you will not have to re-take classes or pass a certifying exam, you should be prepared to complete a new background check. If a state has adopted jurisprudence and/or ethics exams specific to its laws, you will likely need to pass these exams. In this case, you may be eligible for a probationary or provisional license while you arrange to take the exams. Other requirements, such as in-state residency, letters of recommendation, or proof of experience may apply.

Licensed Mental Health Counselor Reciprocity

Depending on the initial and receiving states, beginning in late 2023 or early 2024, LMHCs/LPCs may qualify for licensure by reciprocity under the new Counseling Compact. However, for states that do not have reciprocity agreements, it is usually still possible to apply for a license using your previous qualifications and/or counseling certifications. This process is frequently known as licensure by endorsement or licensure by credential. Licensure by endorsement allows you to apply for a new license in a different state using the education and experience that qualified you for your initial license. As with other types of counseling certifications, if your new state requires state-specific jurisprudence or ethics exams, you will likely need to pass these exams to achieve licensure. It is common for applicants to receive a provisional or temporary license while meeting this requirement if all other requirements are met. States may impose additional requirements such as residency, professional recommendations, or specific education/experience.

LMHC Reciprocity and the Counseling Compact

The Counseling Compact is an initiative of the National Center for Interstate Compacts (NCIC) and the American Counseling Association (ACA). The compact covers LMHCs, also known as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs), Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCCs), and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (LCPCs). This brand-new program, expected to launch in early 2024, is similar to the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement, which guides license portability for teachers and school counselors. However, there is one important difference: When working between LPC reciprocity states under the interstate Counseling Compact, LMHCs will not need to apply for a second license in the new state. Instead, counselors will apply for what is known as a privilege to practice, which will allow them to practice in the new state under the license granted in their home state. Counselors will need to take any applicable jurisprudence exams in the new state, but will not be required to re-take professional exams for counseling certification such as the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE).

Note that the interstate Counseling Compact only applies to LMHCs who are licensed as LPCs, LPCCs, LCPCs, or state equivalents. It does not apply to LMFTs, addiction counselors, school counselors, or other types of counselors. The compact is also limited to states that have passed legislation to join the compact. States that are not part of the compact will have their own laws and procedures for license portability and reciprocity, and will typically require a full license application process.

Rehabilitation Counselor License Reciprocity

Most rehabilitation counselors are certified by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) as Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRCs). Because this is a national certification, CRCs may practice in any state. CRC certification must be renewed every five years. In order to provide counseling services to clients, rehabilitation counselors must become licensed as mental health counselors in their state. To continue providing counseling services to clients in another state, they will follow the guidelines for licensed mental health counselor reciprocity.

School Counselor License Reciprocity

School counselor license reciprocity is generally guided by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreements. These Interstate Agreements are not “true” reciprocity agreements, as a school counselor cannot use the license issued in one state to practice directly in another state. Instead, they represent a national framework that outlines how school counselors can use qualifying education and experience earned in one state to apply for a license in another state, often known as licensure by endorsement. The qualifications from the initial state must generally be equivalent to the qualifications in the receiving state. For applicants who do not meet the requirements for full licensure, provisional or temporary licensure is sometimes available while the applicant works to fulfill any missing requirements identified by the licensing board.

Substance Abuse and Addiction Counselor License Reciprocity

Substance abuse and addiction counselors who are not licensed LPCs eligible for the Counseling Compact may be eligible for either licensure by reciprocity or licensure by endorsement. Licensure by reciprocity is possible between states that use International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) products. If you are licensed in an IC&RC jurisdiction and wish to become licensed in another IC&RC jurisdiction, IC&RC will verify the equivalency of your credential(s), streamlining the process. Check with the IC&RC for information on member boards and the reciprocity process. If your initial or receiving state does not qualify or participate in the IC&RC, you may still qualify for licensure by endorsement. In this process, you will apply for a license in the new state based on your existing credentials. Contact the appropriate licensing board for further information on requirements.

Foreign Licensed Counselors and US Counselor Certification Reciprocity

In most cases, US states do not offer reciprocity for foreign-credentialed counselors. A notable exception is the IC&RC, which allows reciprocity between most US states and Canadian provinces as well as some European and Asian countries. For other locations and types of counseling certifications, candidates will need to initiate a first-time license application with the appropriate state licensing board. Foreign applicants will need to provide proof of US equivalency for all education and credentials held through accredited third-party evaluation services. Foreign applicants are typically not considered under licensure by endorsement, though you should verify the process with the appropriate licensing board.

Counselor License Reciprocity Guidelines by State

The following table covers counselor license reciprocity requirements by state for LMFTs, LPCs, school counselors (abbreviated in this table as school), and substance abuse counselors (SAC). The basic reciprocity requirements for each type of counseling license are outlined to help you get started. A glossary of common abbreviations follows the table. We have also identified LPC compact states (as of July 2023). Note that for substance abuse counselors, if you are moving to an IC&RC jurisdiction from a non-IC&RC jurisdiction, you will typically need to complete an initial licensure application rather than an application by reciprocity or endorsement. Also note that the guidelines below are minimums established by state licensing boards; additional education, experience, and verifications may be required. For further details or questions about counseling license reciprocity (also known as licensure portability, comity, or licensure by endorsement), please contact the appropriate licensing board.

StateEducation/Experience ReqsTesting ReqsTemp License?Other NotesCounseling Compact (LPC Only)?1
AlabamaLMFT: Current license w/equiv standards.
LPC: Current license w/equiv standards w/750+ indirect and 2,250+ direct exp hours in license process; hours post-license do not count.
School: Current license w/equiv standards w/2+ years exp.
SAC: Supervised practice, current license w/equiv standards w/1+ years exp; independent practice same as LPC.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT or equiv.
LPC: NCE.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: Supervised practice varies; independent practice, NCE.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for associate license.
School: At school request.
SAC: Independent practice same as LPC.
LMFT: Two supervisor recommendations req’d, must be current on AL continuing ed reqs.
LPC: Endorsement by reqs in AL at the time the out-of-state license was issued.
School: Qualifying degrees must be from a regionally accred school.
SAC: Typically must have bachelor’s and/or acceptable professional certification unless LPC.
Yes
AlaskaLMFT, LPC, School: Current license w/equiv standards.
SAC: Varies based on application level.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE or NCMHCE or equiv.
School: None.
SAC: Chemical Dependency Counselor II or above, NCAC or MAC.
LMFT: Possible if all reqs met except exam.
LPC: Military or emergency courtesy possible; application req’d.
School: Yes, if missing AK/multicultural studies (see notes).
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
All: Independent practitioners may req separate AK business license.
LPC: Must have at least 60 grad semester hours in counseling.
School: Must meet credit hour reqs in AK and Multicultural Studies as well as mandatory training in key areas.
SAC: Professional references req’d.
ArizonaLMFT, LPC, SAC: Current license w/equiv standards w/1+ years exp; 2+ years of FT exp req’d to practice independently.
School: Current license w/equiv standards.
All: Equiv to AZ exam(s)LMFT, LPC, SAC: Yes.
School: Yes, if all reqs met except US and AZ Constitution exam or course met.
LMFT, LPC, SAC: Qualifying degree must be from regionally accred school; must complete online tutorial in AZ statutes.
School: Expired/inactive, temp, or non-renewable certs are not eligible.
ArkansasLMFT, LPC, SAC: Current license w/equiv standards for 3+ years.
School: Current license w/equiv standards.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT or equiv + jurisprudence exam.
LPC, SAC: NCE or equiv + jurisprudence exam.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
LMFT, LPC, SAC: May apply for associate license/supervised practice if licensed under 3 years.
School: Yes, pending testing reqs.
LMFT, LPC, SAC: If original license req’d 2,000 client contact hours, applicant must document additional 1,000 supervised client contact hours; 4 professional letters of recommendation req’dYes
CaliforniaLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards for 2+ years.
School: Current license w/equiv standards.
SAC: N/A.
LMFT: Must pass Law & Ethics exam.
LPC: Must pass Law & Ethics exam + NCMHCE (prev scores accepted).
School: CBEST (Basic Skills) or equiv.
SAC: N/A.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for Associate license.
School: Yes, up to one year.
SAC: N/A.
LMFT, LPC: License held must be highest level for independent practice in that jurisdiction; master’s or doctoral degree must be from school w/approved accred; must complete CA specific coursework.
School: Qualifying program must be at least 30 credit hours and incl supervised exp.
Yes
ColoradoLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards w/2+ years of licensed practice req’d.
School: Current license w/equiv standards; 3+ years exp standard.
SAC: ADCs must have 2,000+ hours of supervised exp + master’s or higher.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT or equiv + jurisprudence exam.
LPC: NCE or equiv + jurisprudence exam.
School: See notes.
SAC: MAC or equiv + jurisprudence exam.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for provisional.
School: No.
SAC: Yes; may also qualify for lower-level license.
LPC: Education must be CACREP-accred or equiv.
School: Exam and exp reqs vary based on when education completed & whether CACREP-accred.
Yes
ConnecticutLMFT: Current license w/equiv standards w/3+ years exp.
LPC: Current license w/equiv standards, incl supv’d pre-license exp or 3+ years licensed exp.
School: Current license w/equiv standards.
SAC: Current license w/equiv standards.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT or equiv.
LPC: NCE, NCMHCE or equiv.
School: See notes.
SAC: ADC or AADC.
LMFT: No.
LPC: May qualify for associate license.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for supervised practice.
LMFT: Qualifying degree s/b American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy-accred or equiv.
LPC: Qualifying degree s/b regionally accred w/60+ credit hours.
School: Reqs may vary if qualifying master’s degree not state-approved or accred.
SAC: Must have master’s or higher; must follow IC&RC process if in an IC&RC jurisdiction.
DelawareLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards.
School: Current license w/equiv standards w/4+ years exp.
SAC: Current license w/equiv standards w/5+ years exp.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT or equiv.
LPC: NCE, NCMHCE or equiv.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: None if licensed 5+ years.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for associate license.
School: No.
SAC: No, but may be considered for licensure through national certification.
LMFT, LPC, SAC: If licensed less than five years, copy of originating state’s licensing laws required.
School: Only full/unrestricted licenses issued in other states considered equiv (no temp, provisional, private school, etc.).
Yes
FloridaAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCMHCE.
School: FTCE School Counseling or equiv.
SAC: FL MCAP Exam.
LMCFT, LPC: Yes.
School: At school request.
SAC: Yes; may also qualify for lower-level license.
LMFT, LPC: Must have been in active practice w/full license for 3 of last 5 years + complete FL laws & rules course + HIV/AIDS courseYes
GeorgiaLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards w/2+ years exp.
School: Current license w/equiv standards.
SAC: N/A.
LMFT: AMFTRB or equiv.
LPC: NCE or NCMHCE.
School: GACE or equiv.
SAC: N/A.
LMFT, LPC: No.
School: At school request.
SAC: N/A.
LMFT, LPC: Exp must be continuous to the time GA license application submitted; must have two professional references.
School: Must meet GA Special Education requirement.
SAC: N/A.
Yes
HawaiiAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: Varies.
LMFT, LPC: Military spouses only.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level certificate.
LMFT, LPC: Coursework and supervised exp previously completed must meet HI initial license standards.
SAC: Must follow IC&RC process if in an IC&RC jurisdiction.
IdahoAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE or NCMHCE.
School: Praxis School Counselor or equiv.
SAC: IC&RC for level of certificate sought.
LPC: May qualify for intern license.
LMFT: May qualify for associate license.
School: May qualify for interim certificate.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level certificate.
LMFT, LPC: Coursework must meet ID initial license standards.
School: Current license must not be expired.
SAC: Must follow IC&RC process if in an IC&RC jurisdiction.
IllinoisAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE, NCMHCE, CRC exam or equiv.
School: ILTS School Counselor or equiv.
SAC: IL CADC Exam.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for associate or supervised practice.
School: No.
SAC: N/A.
LMFT, LPC, School: Coursework must meet IL initial license standards
IndianaAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT + jurisprudence.
LPC: NCMHCE + jurisprudence.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: AADC, MAC, or equiv + jurisprudence.
LMFT, LPC, SAC: May qualify for associate license.
School: No.
LPC: If NCMHCE not previously passed, must apply as initial licensee and pass the examYes
IowaAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE or NCMHCE.
SAC: IC&RC for level of certificate sought.
LMFT, LPC: Yes.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level certificate.
LMFT: Transcripts from programs that were not COAMFTE-accredited must have a CCE equivalency evaluation.
LPC: Transcripts from programs that were not CACREP-accredited must have a CCE equivalency evaluation.
School: Coursework must meet IA initial license standards.
SAC: Must follow IC&RC process if in an IC&RC jurisdiction.
Yes
KansasLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards for 5+ years.
School: Current license w/equiv standards w/1+ years exp.
SAC: Current license w/equiv standards for 4+ years.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT or equiv.
LPC: NCE, NCMHCE or equiv.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: IC&RC or NCAC II.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for associate license.
School: No.
SAC: Yes, if meet all reqs except exam.
LMFT, LPC, SAC: Exp req may be lowered if coursework for initial license is equiv to KS initial license standards.
School: Applicants must meet minimum GPA and exam score cutoffs.
Yes
KentuckyAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE or equiv.
School: Praxis School Counselor or equiv.
SAC: IC&RC for level of license sought.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for associate license.
School: See notes.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LPC: KY has a separate reciprocity agreement for TN LPC/MHSPs.
School: 5+ years exp req’d for professional license.
Yes
LouisianaLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards for 5+ years.
School, SAC: Current license w/equiv standards.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE or NCMHCE.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: IC&RC for level of license sought.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for provisional license.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LPC, LMFT: Less than 5 years exp may have differing education and supervision reqs.
LMFT: Must have completed min 40 hours CE in two years prior to application.
Yes
MaineLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards OR equiv license w/active practice for 5+ years.
School, SAC: Current license w/equiv standards.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCMHCE or equiv.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: IC&RC ADC & Advanced ADC.
LMFT, LPC, School: May qualify for conditional license.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
SAC: Clinical exp hours should be equiv to ME initial license standardsYes
MarylandLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards.
School: Current license w/equiv standards w/27+ months exp.
SAC: Current license w/equiv standards.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT + jurisprudence.
LPC: NCE or equiv + jurisprudence.
SAC: NBCC EMAC for LCADC + jurisprudence.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for supervised license.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
School: Exp req may be waived based on education and professional backgroundYes
MassachusettsLMFT, LPC, School: Current license w/equiv standards w/3+ years exp.
SAC: Current license w/equiv standards.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCMHCE.
School: MTEL.
SAC: IC&RC for license sought.
LMFT: May qualify for supervised license.
School: Yes, pending MTEL exam.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LPC: Must complete Board-approved DV/SA training prior to application.
SAC: Exp reqs vary based on education.
MichiganLMFT, LPC, School: Current license w/equiv standards w/5+ years exp.
SAC: Current license w/equiv standards.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE, NCMHCE, or CRC exam.
School: MTTC.
SAC: IC&RC for license sought.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for limited license.
School: Yes, pending MTTC.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LMFT, LPC: Must complete training on human trafficking.
School: May apply as initial applicant if do not meet exp req.
SAC: Must live or work in MI at least 51% of the time.
MinnesotaAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE or equiv.
School: None.
SAC: IC&RC ADC or AADC, or NCAC II.
LPC: May qualify for limited license.
School: May qualify for lower tier license.
LMFT, LPC: Coursework must be MN equiv.
LPC: Reqs may vary based on exp; education must be CACREP or regionally accred.
MississippiLMFT: Current license w/equiv standards w/1+ years exp.
LPC: Current license w/equiv standards w/5+ years exp.
School: Current license w/equiv standards.
SAC: See notes.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: N/A.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for associate license.
School: No.
SAC: N/A.
LMFT: Current MS residents may qualify without exp or AMFTRB reqs.
LPC: Three work references req’d.
School: Must demonstrate professional development such as CE or NBCC school counselor certification.
SAC: Certification not req’d in MS outside certain gov’t-funded employment.
Yes
MissouriAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE + jurisprudence exam.
School: MEGA Counselor or equiv.
SAC: IC&RC ADC or AADC.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for provisional license.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LPC: Asynchronous online master’s programs may not qualify unless CACREP accred.
School: Work exp verification may be req’d.
SAC: Coursework in ethics typically req’d; req’d exp varies by cert, but typically must be w/in last 10 years.
Yes
MontanaAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE or NCMHCE.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: NCAC I, IC&RC ADC or AADC, or equiv.
LMFT, LPC, SAC: May qualify for supervised license.
School: May qualify for provisional license.
LMFT: NMFT exam req may be waived.
LPC: 3,000 qualifying exp hours must be verified by Board or orig supervisor.
School: Must complete online Indian Ed course.
Yes
NebraskaLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards w/5+ years exp.
School: Current license w/equiv standards w/2+ years exp.
SAC: Current license w/equiv standards w/3+ years exp (waived if IC&RC).
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT + jurisprudence exam.
LPC: NCE or NCMHCE + jurisprudence exam.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: IC&RC ADC or AADC.
LMFT, LPC, SAC: May qualify for provisional license.
School: At school request.
LMFT, LPC, SAC: Temp license may be offered to military spouses.
School: Training in Human Relations and Special Ed req’d.
SAC: Must be a resident of NE to qualify for reciprocal license.
Yes
NevadaAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCMHCE.
School: Praxis School Counselor or equiv.
SAC: IC&RC ADC or AADC.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for interim permit.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
School: Testing req may be waived
New HampshireLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards w/5+ years exp.
School, SAC: Current license w/equiv standards.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCHMHCE.
School: None.
SAC: IC&RC ADC or AADC.
LMFT: May qualify for supervised practice.
LPC, SAC: Yes.
School: May qualify for intern license.
LPC: Three professional reference forms req’dYes
New JerseyAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE.
School: None.
SAC: IC&RC ADC or AADC.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for associate license.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LMFT: General counseling exp in addition to MFT exp may be req’d.
SAC: Must follow IC&RC process if in an IC&RC jurisdiction. Add’l coursework or testing may be req’d.
New MexicoLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards w/5+ years exp.
School, SAC: Current license w/equiv standards.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCMHCE.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: NCAC I or IC&RC ADC or AADC.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for associate license.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LMFT: Exp req may be waived if coursework and supervision equiv to NM initial licensure.
LPC: Must have no disciplinary action for past 5 years.
New YorkLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards w/5+ years exp.
School: Current license w/equiv standards w/3+ years exp.
SAC: Current license w/equiv standards.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCMHCE or equiv.
School: NYSTCE School Counselor Content Specialty test or equiv.
SAC: IC&RC ADC or AADC or equiv.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for limited license or initial license.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LMFT, LPC: Exp must be w/in past 10 years and attested by licensed colleague or supervisor.
School: Must apply via Individual Evaluation.
North CarolinaLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards w/5+ years exp.
School, SAC: Current license w/equiv standards.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE, NCMHCE, CRC exam or equiv + jurisprudence exam.
School: Praxis School Counselor or equiv.
SAC: IC&RC ADC or AADC or equiv.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for associate license.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LMFT: Military/military spouses may qualify with 2+ years exp.
SAC: Must complete ethics course + follow IC&RC reciprocity process.
Yes
North DakotaAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT + ND LMFT Exam.
LPC: NCE.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: NAADAC, NCAC II, or MAC.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for associate license.
School: May qualify for four-year license.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LMFT: State exam is scheduled after submitting license applicationYes
OhioAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCMHCE.
School: OAE School Counselor or equiv.
SAC: IC&RC ADC or AADC.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for supervised license.
School: Yes, one year temporary.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LMFT: CA MFT exam accepted from CA applicants.
LPC: OH has separate reciprocity w/KY; exp reqs may apply.
School: Any professional exp must be verified.
SAC: SAC credentials issued based on education lower than associate degree are not reciprocal into OH.
Yes
OklahomaAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT + OK LMFT exam.
LPC: NCE + OK ethics exam.
School: Praxis School Counselor or OSAT School Counseling.
SAC: IC&RC ADC or AADC.
LMFT, LPC, SAC: May qualify for supervised license.
School: At school request.
LPC: Academic evaluation may be req’d if less than 5 years exp.
SAC: Specific coursework reqs may apply.
Yes
OregonAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT + jurisprudence exam.
LPC: NCE, NCMHCE, or CRC exam + jurisprudence exam.
School: None.
SAC: NCAC I, NCAC II, or MAC + jurisprudence exam.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for associate license.
School: At school request.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LMFT: CA MFT exam accepted from CA applicants.
SAC: Exam reqs vary based on license level.
PennsylvaniaAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE, IC&RC AADC, or equiv.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: IC&RC ADC or AADC.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for supervised work.
School: May qualify for provisional license.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LMFT, LPC: CE in child abuse recognition req’d; exp req of 5+ years may apply based on state.
SAC: Must provide verification of all work-related exp, ed, and training.
Rhode IslandAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCMHCE.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: IC&RC ADC or AADC.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for associate license.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
School: Must have 3+ years exp to advance to Full certificate and 5+ years exp to upgrade to Advanced certificate.
SAC: Must certify through RI Certification Board to renew license beyond initial.
South CarolinaAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE or NCMHCE.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: IC&RC AADC or MAC.
LMFT, LPC, SAC: May qualify for associate license.
School: No.
LMFT: Certain reqs may be waived w/5 years exp w/license in good standing.
LPC: Non-residents have limited practice privilege up to 5 days/month and 30 days/year.
School: Current license must be full professional license in good standing; alternative route may have add’l reqs.
South DakotaLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards w/active practice w/in last 36 months.
School, SAC: Current license w/equiv standards.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE or NCMHCE.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: IC&RC ADC.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for supervised work.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LPC: Exam reqs vary based on license level.
SAC: Specific coursework reqs apply.
TennesseeAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT + TN oral exam + jurisprudence exam.
LPC: NCMHCE + jurisprudence exam.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: NCAC I, NCAC II, or MAC + jurisprudence exam.
LMFT, LPC: Yes.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LPC: TN has separate reciprocity w/KY.
SAC: Exam reqs vary based on license level.
Yes
TexasLMFT, LPC, SAC: Current license w/equiv standards.
School: Current license w/equiv standards w/2+ years exp.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT + jurisprudence exam.
LPC: NCE or NCMHCE + jurisprudence exam.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: TX LCDC exam.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for associate license.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level practice.
LMFT, LPC: Must take approved course in Human Trafficking Awareness.
UtahLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards w/1+ years exp.
School, SAC: Current license w/equiv standards.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE and NCMHCE.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: Varies by license.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for associate license.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LMFT, LPC: Add’l exp may be req’d.
School: Praxis score must be 164+; must also complete UT College and Career Readiness Certificate Program.
Yes
VermontLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards w/5+ years exp.
School: Current license w/equiv standards w/3+ years exp.
SAC: Current license w/equiv standards.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE and NCMHCE.
School: None.
SAC: IC&RC ADC or AADC.
LMFT, LPC, SAC: May qualify for supervised work.
School: May qualify for provisional or lower-level license.
LMFT, LPC: Exp req may be waived if license standards deemed equivYes
VirginiaLMFT, LPC, SAC: Current license w/equiv standards.
School: Current license w/equiv standards w/2+ years exp.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT or equiv.
LPC: NCMHCE or equiv.
School: None.
SAC: Varies by license.
LMFT, LPC: Yes.
School: May qualify for provisional license.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LMFT, LPC: Exp reqs may apply depending on initial licensing state’s standards.
School: VA-specific coursework may apply.
Yes
WashingtonAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE, NCMHCE, or equiv.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: NCAC I, NCAC II, or MAC.
All: May qualify for probationary/associate license.LMFT: Must meet CE in professional law and ethics.
LMFT, LPC, SAC: Probationary license only authorizes work in behavioral health agencies (no independent practice).
Yes
Washington DCAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE, NCMHCE, or CRC exam.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: NCAC I or NCAC II.
LMFT: May qualify for supervised work.
LPC: May qualify for provisional license.
School: May qualify for initial certificate.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LPC: Must meet supervision hour reqs.
West VirginiaAll: Current license w/equiv standardsLMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE, NCMHCE, or CRC exam.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: IC&RC ADC or AADC.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for provisional license.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LPC: Some reqs may be waived w/5+ years exp.
SAC: Must follow IC&RC process if in an IC&RC jurisdiction.
Yes
WisconsinLMFT, LPC: Current license w/equiv standards.
School: Current license w/equiv standards w/1+ years exp.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE, NCMHCE, or CRC exam + WI rules exam.
School: Praxis School Counselor.
SAC: NCAC I + WI rules exam.
LMFT, LPC, SAC: May qualify for trainee license.
School: Yes.
LMFT, LPC, SAC: Some states do not qualify–see Board site
WyomingLMFT, LPC, SAC: Current license w/equiv standards.
School: Current license w/equiv standards w/3+ years exp.
LMFT: AMFTRB NMFT.
LPC: NCE, NCMHCE, or CRC exam.
School: See notes.
SAC: Varies by license.
LMFT, LPC: May qualify for provisional license.
School: No.
SAC: May qualify for lower-level license.
LMFT, LPC, SAC: Process/reqs may vary based on highest degree earned.
School: Praxis School Counselor exam may be req’d based on equivalency.
Yes

Table Glossary: AADC–Advanced Alcohol & Drug Counselor; ADC–Alcohol & Drug Counselor; AMFTRB–Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards; CADC–Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor; CACREP–Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs; CBEST–California Educator Credentialing Examinations; CCE–Center for Credentialing & Education; COAMFTE–Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education; CRC–Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (exam) from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC); IC&RC–International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium; ILTS–Illinois Licensure Testing System; EMAC–Examination for Master Addictions Counselors; FTCE–Florida Teacher Certification Examinations; GACE–Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators; LCDC–Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor; MAC–Master Addictions Counselor; MCAP–Master’s Level Certified Addiction Professional; MEGA–Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments; MTEL–Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure; MTTC–Michigan Tests for Teacher Certification; NCAC–National Certified Addiction Counselor; NCE–National Counselor Exam; NCMHCE–National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination; NMFT–National Marriage and Family Therapy exam; NYSTCE–New York State Teacher Certification Examinations; OSAT–Oklahoma Subject Area Tests

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What states are in the Counseling Compact?

As of September 2023, the LPC reciprocity states that have passed legislation recognizing the interstate Counseling Compact are: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.1 A further 4 states have legislation under consideration.

Can addiction and substance abuse counselors participate in the Counseling Compact?

Addiction and substance abuse counselors are only eligible for the Counseling Compact if they hold an LMHC, LPC, LPCC, or equivalent license. For other addiction and substance abuse counselor licenses, all states except Alaska and North Dakota use IC&RC products.2 No matter which licensure route is followed, a counselor must apply for reciprocity; it is not automatic. The process is typically to apply for licensure by endorsement in the new state for all other license types.

Can you be a licensed counselor in multiple states?

Yes. Most states allow licensed counselors to hold active licenses in other states. If you plan to become licensed in multiple states, you will need to keep up with continuing education and renewal requirements for each license.

Can you transfer your LPC license to another state?

Yes, in a manner of speaking. Typically, the process is to apply for licensure by reciprocity, where available, or licensure by endorsement. If you no longer wish to maintain your license in the initial issuing state, you may allow it to lapse. However, you are also typically permitted to maintain your license in both states, provided that you meet continuing education and renewal requirements in both jurisdictions (additional renewal fees will likely apply). Check with your state board(s) for more information.

Can you transfer a provisional license to another state?

In most cases, provisional licenses are excluded from reciprocity or licensure by endorsement agreements. In fact, provisional licenses are specifically excluded from the LPC Counseling Compact. However, if you hold a provisional license, you may be eligible to apply for initial (first-time) licensure. For more information, be sure to check with the appropriate licensure board for the state in which you will be seeking a license.

Can you work as a counselor or therapist in a different state?

In most cases, a counselor or therapist must be licensed in the state in which the client is physically located in order to provide services to that client. Some states offer limited practice privileges by which a counselor may offer telehealth services to a client who is traveling, for example. In LPC Counseling Compact states, the process may be simplified. Be sure to verify the rules and regulations of the state in which services will be offered with the appropriate licensing board.

References:
1. National Center for Interstate Compacts Counseling Compact Map: https://counselingcompact.org/map/
2. International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium Board Directory: https://www.internationalcredentialing.org/memberboards